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Bridge in the Train


For those who don't live in West Bengal, introduction is a must.Of course, NewYorkers are no stranger to this revolutionary invention-they  play even in the subs(Metro rail). Jeff Rubens(who is he?) wrote a very illuminating article on this. However,for the uninitiated innocents, Bridge in local train is a way of passing a not so memorable journey the Indian rail offers during officetime.It also helps forming a group to which wise commuters subscribe to become a kibitzer-thereby taking advantage of the many services the group offers.The group offers its members the following free services

  • Protects its members from the hordes of barbarians that ascend from Sodepur, Belghoria & DumDum
  • Pushes uncivilized passengers from under the fan & accomodates its members in the best possible places.
  • Keeps good standing/seating position for its bonafied members even if he comes very late.
  • Chance to participate in the yearly Picnic
  • Invitation to many social occasions
  • Comparative study of card playing abilities of absent members
  • Made up quarrels to entertain the whole train
  • Extraordinary seating Priviledges offered to member's spouse/children

  Galloping Shantipur at 08.50/ Up Kalyani Super

Gentlemen from Jagatdal play here. The way Hari kundu(Harida) & Somnath(Somnath Mitra) gives way to others, is to be seen to be believed.As a matter of fact, the original group in this train consisted of Bholada(Ashok Mitra),Jayanta Chatterjee, Gopal Bose, Kalipada Kundu, N.Bhowmik(Nantuda).When Nantuda left, kunduda sidelined himself to give Ranjan Banerjee & Myself a chance to prove ourselves.However within a few years most changed their schedule & the playground was up for sale.The Jagatdal group was unwilling to buy though Netaida, Ramda, Halderda and few others were homeless--I mean groundless at that time.Ultimately the playground was grabbed by Rabibabu & co. who, we believed,  quite mistakenly, disliked the game.

When new & promising players like Champak Bhattacharya, Nisith Joarder & others entered the fray, a new ground was created . But the additional stoppage at Dumdum & later at Ultadanga compressed the ground so much as to make wing play very difficult.Even a good unzipping technique could not solve the problem. Now the players from shyamnagar are totally dependent on Harida & co.for getting short term lease of their ground.

At Kalyani Super,however, the scene is different & the syndicate rules supreme here.No mortal could challenge Bisu Dutta  his right to stand under the fan the others make hey while the dutta shines.The rivalry between Biswasda(the great Barun Biswas) & Dutta/Kar combination surpasses the one between Culburtson & Lenz.Though Asim Kar is no match for Barun Biswas, Sujit Bose , as an anti-partner of biswasda, makes the battle very close.By the way,Ashu Babu alias Tulsida  alias Suranjan Aich appears from time to time to stake his ancesterial claim in the field. But ,I can tell you fou sure that Biswasda smacks his lip when he sees him.

 Up Shantipur  of 17.50( the shyamnagar special)

The original group consisted of mostly the same players from the original 9.50 shantipur.

Bholada,Jayantada et al. Often Aloke Mukherjee used to come.Later myself & Ranjan Banerjee joined. But the group broke as Tanayda(Ranesh Bhat-chaz-- a true communist who sacrificed many a things for the achievement of many a things) forced Bholada to shift from 2/2 to 2/3( code language to denote compartment/door position in a train).

Tanayda & Palanda(more & more of him under seperate header) joined with sujitda.Biswasda,hitherto a kibitzer,also joined when tanayda detached himself.

Khokada,a rare gentleman(grandson of Panu Mukhujjey,one of the original residents of shyamnagar/Rahuta) seldom gets chance to play.

Then there is Asimda. Another favourite for Biswasda for his evening tiffin.

When Gangada retired, the other ground was auctioned.Shibeda,Tulsida,& others left.But the man in the picture overleaf took up position here.In the recent past,Tulsida has taken membership.

  More of Kalyani Super

Then there is Tojuda & Buroda.Sensible though the former is a better player simply because he learnt a vital thing during his glorious football days--Discipline.

Buroda,very intelligent though,suffers from a drawback.That is, he tries to outwit his opponents--but in that process his partner in caught unaware.

A lazy,but promising player-BHAI- comes quite often.I once mistook him for a person of contract bridge calibre(The same mistake I did with Somnath Mitra of 9.50 Shantipur).But he is a good kibitzer.

Then there is Motida. Moti talukder. A Genius .But for whose advice to keep  root of white sandal with me, I wouldn't have fared well in the nationals of 2005.

The chapter will remain incomplete if I do not mention the great Tantida.I have been fortunate enough to play once as his partner & twice as his opponent. Alas, seeing no improvement in our quality, he donated his house to Khokan Kar(another great enterprenaur from shyamnagar) & moved to DumDum to become a neighbour of Robi Roy -so that he can discuss finer aspects of dummy play with him.His departure literally left us standing in the middle of the road with Harricanes in our hand--a commodity he sells in  chinabazar.

Of Palanda

Palanda hails from an aristocratic family that claims its link to the great sage Bharadwaj. Though Biswasda says his actual name is Supriyo Ghosh & that Mukuujjey was an aquired Title rather than an actual surname, one easily finds out that Biswasda speakes so out of envy.

& why shouldn't be Biswasda jelous? Any one will be  when he hears that Palanda is a direct disciple of Amareshda (Das).As a matter of fact, perhaps Da Vinci  & to some extent Rabindranath, could match the genius of Amareshda.

It is an open secret now that Tanayda got jelous, increased Amareshda's age in the official record & forced him to retire at a tender age of just 55.

Wharever, Amareshda learned bridge from Culburtson directly & Palanda is a direct disciple of Amareshda. This should say all about Palanda's expertise.

I learned many things from Palanda. His theory of opening lead against opponent's No Trump is an all time classic.


In Action--Kalyani Super